The following is how I introduced a post that I was working on. I thought it might be better to have this portion in it’s own post, so I expanded what I said here, surprise to no one who knows me 😅. My blog is for women, but I do have a portion in today’s post aimed at godly male pastors, and my story explains why I did not know the Gospel as well as I once thought.
With Resurrection Day soon approaching, it’s imperative people know the Gospel and get the chance to hear the Gospel as often as possible.
I do want to state, while I love the church family I grew up with, and I learned some scriptural truth that has helped me, I lacked so much in Biblical understanding, especially when it came to the Gospel. What was the most important I missed.
I had a Swiss cheese theology, and the truths I learned growing up were not connected, until I fully understood the Gospel.
As I wrote about in 2021, I was caught up in Christian Mysticism, contemplative prayer, looking for the still small voice, and emotionalism. I sought God outside of scripture a lot, and I always wanted more. I got caught up in legalism because I thought holiness and sanctification were deeper topics than the Gospel, and that’s just not true. When I sought the Lord in His own word, I finally became fulfilled. Please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?) & my testimony My Testimony | Legalism, Christian Mysticism, & Seeing My Husband Come To Christ
Growing up, I was very familiar with the phrase, “Ask Jesus into your heart.” I’m sure many of you are familiar with the phrase as well. The Gospel to me as a child, a teen, and even a young adult – it did not deepen as I aged.
The Gospel, for so long, was presented a particular way to me. What I mean by this is the Gospel was presented very weakly and vaguely. Christ died for us, and yeah, that’s really important, and… that’s pretty much it. Words like justification, propitiation, reconciliation, redemption, and more I did not really grasp in a Biblical way. I could not explain well what the scripture said of these words and the act of what Christ did on the cross in-depth with scriptural knowledge.
I knew holiness and sanctification, but I did not see how these words are merely blooms that come from the roots of the Gospel.
For decades I viewed the Gospel as a “surface topic.” Like yes, the Gospel is important but holiness and sanctification are more important/interesting. Which came from my background of being a Nazarene, which the doctrine is uniquely known for focusing on sanctification and holiness. (Please note: other churches are just as problematic, maybe not in the same area as the church I grew up in, but topical sermons, catering to numbers, focus on tongues, focus on gifts of the Spirit, focus on miracles, focusing on the end-times more than the Gospel, etc. It’s so easy for a church to be misdirected.)
Not saying the church of Nazarene is placing holiness and sanctification above the Gospel, not on purpose at least, but this is how I interpreted the Gospel growing up. I am just as responsible for my faith, as the adult leaders around me, including my family. But I wish the Gospel, the richness of the Gospel, and how the Gospel affects everything else in our life was the focus.
And while I still see the importance of understanding godly living, properly mind you, it was not until a few years ago I really started to see that the Gospel has LAYERS, did you know that? The Gospel is really deep, did you know that? The whole Bible is about the Gospel, did you know that? And if you know it – are you equipped enough to show me in scripture from Old to New what that means? See: Answering Critics on Godly Living & Straw Man Fallacy & The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?
What Happens When We Lack Biblical Understanding
Maybe I thought I knew scripture when I was younger, but the truth was, I really did not understand. I knew the scripture slogans, of course. Meaning I knew pieces of scripture like, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” but I couldn’t tell you the actual context of how the verse relates to… wait for it… being content in all situations, not about our dreams, goals, or getting the result we want.
Or “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…” actually relates to the Israelites going into captivity for 70 years, cause that’s what everyone wants right? Being sinful and disobedient so we go into captivity and many will die from pestilence, sword, or famine because of it. Having our sinful bones scattered around alters. That’s what we mean when we share this verse in encouragement, right? No, not at all. I’d recommend Romans 8:28 to be a “life verse” instead. See: Why I Do Not Have A “Life Verse”
Yeah, I was the hypocrite. The Gospel wasn’t the surface topic, reality was I only knew the surface of the Bible.
And from talking with other ladies around me, they are sharing they too thought they knew the Gospel, but they really didn’t know it as well as they thought, either. Which is one of the reasons why I made up the Gospel Quiz on the blog. See: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?
Sadly, I came to the realization I had a blind faith. I could not use scripture as proper evidence to explain why I believed what I believed. It wasn’t until 2019 and 2020 that I discovered Christian Apologetics. It wasn’t until 2020 I understood the Gospel a lot better, and I had to repent of pride, a sin I still have to be accountable to on a daily basis. Pride hides and cloaks itself so easily.
What Happened On The Cross? Confusion From Lack Of Understanding
In 2019, I started to write up some Resurrection Day posts. Focusing on Christ, His perfection, and briefly, I had a post about whether or not Christ took on the wrath of God on the cross. This post was originally inspired by a discussion in which one posed the question whether Christ received the wrath of God on the cross. The question came from the thought that scripture did not seem to really say this directly, and so did Christ receive the wrath of God? What did that look like? Did it really happen? Where are the scriptures?
On the original post I laid out my case, and people also commented that they had never really thought about God’s wrath Biblically, either. They assumed that yes, Christ took the wrath of God on the cross, but they couldn’t really support it with scripture.
I find their honesty, like mine, very telling that something is missing in churches. We are missing the Gospel. We are prideful and convinced we know the Gospel well, when we do not.
Remember what I said about thinking we know something about the Bible but not really understanding it? A lot of our lack of understanding comes from the fact we do not read our Bibles regularly, or in order – as in, we have a book of the Bible and we start from Ch.1 to the end.
So many of us, like I used to do, read ourselves into scripture as David or Esther. We take what God already said in His word, and give it “new meaning” as if He is speaking to US for the first time. I did this a lot when I treated the Bible like a magic 8 ball, randomly open scripture, and take a verse out of context, read my situation, problems, fears, etc into it.
There are scriptures for today’s Christian, but we need to understand scripture properly to know when those scriptures apply directly to us. The Bible is about giving the glory to God, not us. In fact, WE were the ones who caused the Messiah to come in the first place, if we want to be real about it. Our side doesn’t look so good… it’s about Jesus, the need for us to have a Savior.
My Plea To Pastors
I just plea to pastors right here, feed your flock the Bible, show them how to read properly, give them understanding on context, including cultural context of the time and audience, please.
Stop giving us topical sermons that apply to life, but not eternity. Stop telling us what to do or not do as Christians, UNLESS YOU EXPLAIN WHY AND MAKE THE GOSPEL THE CENTER FOR THE EXPLANATION! Otherwise, it’s legalism, itching to the ears, or anything else that won’t edify us the way we need Jesus.
Please start learning and teaching Christian Apologetics to your congregation. Please teach proper hermeneutics, the proper way to interpret the Bible. Please start encouraging parents to learn these things, and have opportunities for young kids and older to start learning about Christian Apologetics. So that when teens start having questions about faith, they have been equipped to know what scripture already says. So that when teens prepare for college in a secular world, they have answers to their own questions and when others challenge their faith they will actually be able to give a proper defense, with evidence.
My final pleas for pastors…
Pastors, please stop assuming everyone in your congregation is saved. Please do not allow that assumption to bypass the importance of sharing the Gospel in-depth every chance you get.
Those who do not know the Gospel need the Gospel, but every Christian believer needs the encouragement of the Gospel every second of every day, and I, as a woman, should not have to tell you, the shepherd, this truth. Pastor, this is why the Lord calls godly men to preach from the pulpit. Preach about the Shepherd and what He did.
Respectfully pastor, if you cannot connect the Gospel to what scripture says, and if you cannot show how the Gospel connects to life application, then you might need to be in the congregation of a godly man who can show you how the Gospel is in everything scripture talks about. We need more men to point us to Jesus Christ. Please point us to Jesus Christ, and make your sermons more about Him, not us.
Fast forward, my friend got answers and so did I. I will be sharing a post regarding what happened on the cross in a couple of days and breaking down this amazing covenant known as the Covenant of Redemptions. Ladies, stay tuned!
May the Lord Jesus be with you all. Grace be to you.
The Gospel Message– The Gospel message is good news, which means there’s bad news. We all are sinners and condemned. We all deserve the just punishment of God’s wrath. Christianity is unlike any other religion because we cannot earn our way into Heaven. God saw the weakness of man and his utter depravity. Yet, He showed us grace. Jesus, God, One Person of the Trinity, became God in the flesh, the God-Man. He was always perfect and sinless. And His humanity was perfected on the cross, living the full sinless life. He became our atonement sacrifice. Dying in our place, taking on the wrath of God upon Himself. He died on the cross, and He was resurrected because death could not hold Him. Jesus is the answer. We, as guilty sinners, need His blood to pay off our debt of sin. For all who put their faith in Him – meaning eyes are opened to the Gospel, we see ourselves as a sinner, we see the need for Christ, we desire our Savior, and we see the ugliness of our sin. Putting our faith in Jesus, we seek HIs forgiveness and repent from our sins, we turn away from our old way of life. We, through the work of the Holy Spirit, continue to become convicted of sin daily. Our eyes will never be the same again. We see things in a different light, and the truth of Christ affects how we live and serve Him. Christ tells us to count the cost. Salvation is a serious topic, it is not to be taken lightly. For a breakdown of this powerful message, understanding how Christ could be God and Man, why God required sacrifices, and more -please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?)
If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?
Scripture To Meditate On – 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.“
Community Prayer – April ’22
Christian Topics/Series Covered
Personal Blog: Peeking Beneath
Second Blog: UnAshamed Christian Housewife
Godly Men & Women I Recommend: Link To List
Resources For False Teaching: Recommended Websites For False Teachers/Teaching
Video Playlist: Christian Questions, Topics, False Teachers, Insights
Video Playlist: New Christian Believer
Video Playlist: Understanding False Teachings
Video Playlist: Sermons To Grow From
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